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July 28, 2010

What Gaijin Eat: Mystery Meat

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What Gaijin Eat...

This is the latest installment of my series to answer the most asked question from Japanese people to foreigners in Japan. What do gaijin (foreigners) eat? If you are "sensitive" you may want to click away. If you are ready for the truth, read on. This is what the typical foreigner in Japan eats.

Warning: This may not be for sensitive readers - before writing this post and posting these photos, I had to research the legality of cannibalism. It lead me to this really really wonderful video of the history of the Donner party. Great video - especially if you are into hiking and mountaineering tragediy type stuff. There are also a ton of other great videos on the site. I am currently watching portions of the History of Mormon video when I have free moments. It is a wonderful site.

So anyway, finally, after seven months, we ran out of freezer room and pulled out Tomoe's placenta. I grilled it up and it actually tasted quite nice. While I was grilling it, a friend stopped by and asked what it was. I told him just try it. He had it in his mouth before I could stop him, but he quickly spit it out.

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As I say, it tasted good. I wonder about the taboo of eating human flesh. I see no problem in it, unless you are killing someone to eat them - if they are already dead, as in the Donner party, or the Uruguayan Rugby Team from Alive, it only makes sense. If I was dead, and eating me would help my family I would be pissed if they didn't eat me. But it rekindled thoughts about why I feel OK to kill animals. We only eat our chickens after they have died, and only kill them when they are hopelessly sick (again, I hope someone will do the same for me). But just the other day I killed a snake and fish to feed to the chickens. There is really no difference, other than that we identify with humans more than we do with a snake or a chicken or fish. But we are all just living creatures. So why such a taboo on eating human flesh?

Anyway, the placenta was wonderful. While I originally kept it for Tomoe to eat to make the AMHS (After Mona Hormonal Changes) less stressful for me, it sat in the freezer. I gave some to the chickens, Tomoe had a bite, and there is still some in the fridge if anyone would like to try. If you are going to cook your own placenta, I recommend cutting off a small piece to experience the natural taste, and salt the rest before grilling.

And don't worry, eating the placenta is not considered cannibalism - at least not legally.

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July 22, 2010

Cause if I want to, Who's gonna stop me?

Mona ContemplatesMona Loves Her DrumMona Attacks

Mona plays her drum along to "Totally Nude" by the Talking Heads. The day after my parents left was the official end of the rainy season, and was it ever. Fierce heat and humidity. I will be getting a lot of inside work done where there is a nice fan, but it also means I have to be up early to do outside work while it is still cool.

Mona aint Shy

Mona seems to enjoy finally being able to crawl (mostly roll) around the living room floor in the buff. (who wouldn't?) The other day while I had my back turned, I heard a strange slurping noise. I looked over to see either the biggest puddle of drool I had ever seen, or else Mona was lapping up her pee. Luckily Tomoe wasn't in the room, so I was able to let mona take care of her own mess and I didn't even need to get out of my seat! She's like a little Hoover wet-vac.

Big and I'm bad
And I want you to know
I hang around
Where the grass is greener
Totally naked, baby
Totally nude
'Cause if I want to
Who's gonna stop me?
I'm absolutely free
Living in the trees
The birdies and the bees
'Cause I'm a Nature Girl
Locked up inside
You can't tell me where it's at
Open up, open up, open the door
Rocks and trees and physical culture
Some days you hide
I guess you wonder where you are
Nature Girl, nature man, take me along
We got a life that's undiscovered
We threw it all away
Throw it all away
Rolling in every way
It's irresponsible
So civilized
I guess you wonder where you are
Nature Girl, nature man, take me along
Deep in the woods we're undiscovered
I'm a little fish and you're the river
Living in a boat that's underwater
We can tip, tip, tip it over
You can push, push, make it better now
Wake your daddy up
It's a quarter to five
Our little boat
Has lost its rudder
Dive to the bottom
And we never come up
A polka party
For Bob and Martha
I'm absolutely free
Living in the trees
The birdies and the bees
'Cause I'm a Nature Girl
Think what you like
This is really where it's at
Open up, open up, open the door
We don't need clothes and we don't need money
So civilized
I guess you wonder where you are
Nature Girl, nature man, take me along
Deep in the woods we're undiscovered

MonaAfter daddy's well timed Judo throwTotally naked, baby Totally nude

July 21, 2010

Grandma & Grandpa

Mona & GrandpaMona & Grandma

My sister already posted photos of Mom & Dad and her kids in Korea, so guess I better do so too.

Since mom and dad left, we have been gittin' little done. I had a loooong fire brigade ceremony on the second day of official "non-rainy summer" = hot hot hot sun. And we have to wear thick black uniforms in layers as we stand at attention and listen to "important" people talk for hours. It was not fun - but, the after party was.

Mona Swins With her BoyfriendMona SwinsMona Swins

In the photos here you see Mona swimming with the neighbors. We have made this a regular ritual. Whenever I see them out swimming, I rip off Mona's clothes and take her over there to join. The older daughter, Myu, is always excited. The son, who is Mona's age, has shown little interest. She's out of his league anyway :P

Mona & Her QuiltGrandpa Helps Build A DeckThe New chicken Tractor

Dad and I got lots done, building a chicken tractor, that is not much of a tractor (the bike wheels we picked up at the garbage dump weren't so easy to attach). It is still mobile, but not as much as I had hoped. I put it out in the field for a "test" and placed a fish inside. A few days later the fish was gone, so I guess it is not so safe. Luckily, a neighbor living closer to our house has offered to let us use it in his yard.

Among other things, we also built a great new deck for our house. It's not fancy, but it is soooo much nicer than what we had before. Sorry, no photos yet.

We also see Mom testing an idea I have for making tours using the old-lady-scooter instead of bikes. She was reluctant at first, but liked it in the end.

Mona & GrandpaGrandma on an Old People Scooter

The neighbor let mom borrow her little electric old-folk-scooter for a trial run. I don't know why these are not popular in the US.

Mona & GrandpaGrandma waves goodbye

July 17, 2010

Wonderful Quilt.

Mona's New Quilt

I know, I know. Too much Mona. But, I have nothing else. Mona is enjoying a quilt sent along with my parents, It was quilted by my childhood neighbor Bonnie, from when I lived in Michigan. I have not seen for probably 20 years, but remember, among other things, playing with Star-Wars action figures by their fireplace and in their fern tree with her son, Ryan.

July 16, 2010

Oyabaka III (can you blame me?)

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I feel so bad about not getting many photos of mom and dad this past week, but can you blame me? At least I have photos of all of Mona's new toys (from mom and dad) which she enjoys almost as much as I do.

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July 08, 2010

Future Plumber?

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Mom and dad arrived last night. Now hopefully I can get some of the home-improvement projects done that I have been saving to keep dad busy. Mom... well, her job is to clean the poop off of a pile of wool freshly shaven from a sheep.

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In other news, Tomoe, who was vehemently against me buying a MacBook (and anything Mac in general), just got a MacBook of her own to replace her piece-of-crap dell. the only reason was that I told her she can run Windows on it, but it is higher quality hardware. She would be perfect in a commercial for mac, with all her "wow, this is great!" and facial expressions as she tried it out.

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The rice is not growing as fast as we hoped, but neither are the weeds, so I guess we can be thankful for that. While the neighbors have 20-25 stalks on their bunch, we have about 15. There is still time though, so please keep your fingers crossed for our rice.

Finally, believing that it is never to early to start practicing good dental hygiene, we are teaching Mona to brush her teeth. As you can see, the whole concept is still a bit confusing for her.

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July 04, 2010

Mona In the Morning

Just a short video for mom of mona this morning. She loves her bathrobe. I have neglected taking much video of her, but have decided to do a daily shoot on my web cam. The only problem is that the camera is right above the screen, and when she can see the screen she becomes memorized and doesn't act like normal.

July 02, 2010

Mona Pulls Her Weight

Mona Going to Work in the FieldMona Working in the FieldA Brilliant AfternoonLucy Helping to Weed

NOTE: I highly recommend that some people (such as mom) clicks on the photos to see the larger version.

We have spent the past few days trying to make it look, to my parents who will be visiting next week, that we actually do something here. Our mochi rice field is a lost cause. soooooo many weeds. We are going to scythe them all down and plant soba instead. The rice is doing amazingly well. I say "amazingly" because it seems that we have finally figured out how to handle weeds. We have less than our neighbor who uses chemical herbicides (though we spend much more time). I attribute it to finding the nice hand-pushed weed tiller at the dump, but it might be because we are learning.

The other day we took Mona to one of our fields where we planted more beans and pumpkins (too late, according to the neighbors, but we'll see.) I also planted many chili peppers. Mona was a big help, as were the new Lucies.

Mona was pretty tired after a long day's work, but after a good night's sleep she was ready to help mom with the bee box. Chances are that we will not get bees to make it their home this late this year, but we fell behind. No harm in trying though. In the Photo Tomoe is painting the inside of the box with molasses and booze. We are going to put it near our raspberries which seem to be the most bee-iest place in our garden now.

After a Hard Day's WorkPainting the Bee Box w/ MolassesHelping Mom WIth The Bee Box
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